The Brenizer Method is a photographic technique developed by wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer. It allows for the creation of an image exhibiting a shallow depth of field in tandem with a wide angle of view by use of panoramic stitching techniques. The combination of these characteristics enables a photographer to mimic the look of a large format photographic system with equipment that is generally more easily and cheaply available, such as a digital SLR or even a camera phone. The method increases the effective sensor size of the camera, much like the larger negatives in medium and large format photography
History, method and usage
Ryan Brenizer initially referred to the technique as panoramic stitching, but it was recognised as a distinct technique by many in the photography industry and is now generally referred to as 'The Brenizer Method', with an image produced by this method sometimes referred to as 'Bokeh Panorama' or the portmanteau 'Bokehrama'.
The process requires the taking of multiple exposures of a scene in a manner that allows for later image stitching using a fast lens, generally of a focal length of 50mm or above. It is also beneficial to use manual focus, manual white balance and manual shutter and aperture controls to maintain a uniform exposure across the entire set of images.
This method is of interest because:
- It allows for the cheap and relatively easy creation of aesthetics usually only available through the use of expensive, complicated and bulky equipment.
- It provides a way of imitating a generally traditional film based process with digital equipment.
Further information about the technique
It is quite common for images of this sort to be of an aspect ratio similar to that of an image produced via a traditional analog camera, either square (as often used in medium format cameras) or slightly wider (as used in large format cameras). This can be for several reasons:
- The realignment and mosaicing of images during the image stitching process removes any link between the format of the original images and the output image.
- The image stitching process generally introduces a great deal of distortion. To recover a square or rectangular shape, cropping generally needs to be applied – further distancing the output from the input.
- For aesthetic reasons, an image may be cropped to a ratio in an attempt to further mimic the style of images created through an analog process.
While the aesthetics of this form of imaging most closely resemble large format analog photography, its look has also led it to being compared to tilt shift photography. Both techniques create images that exhibit an unusually shallow depth of field.
Examples of Brenizer Method
Pomegranate bokehrama portrait from flickr user 'amira_a'